April 29, 2019
ATTN: If the pictures in this article are distorted, then click on the "view it in your browser" link located at the top right-hand corner of the page.
Greetings from Kiev, New York City and Los Angeles! For Elena & me, this has been an unforgettable month of glorious Kingdom Weddings! The first was in Los Angeles with Joey & Karen Gregory on March 31st, and the second, was in Kiev on April 13th with Luca & Sophia Di Beo! Let us consider that Acts 17:26-27 teaches that "God determined the times set for them and the exact places where they live," so each Kingdom Wedding is indeed "a match made in Heaven!"
"I now pronounce you husband & wife!
God's purpose in determining the times and places we live is for "men to seek Him…" Seeking God is not just for "non-Christians," but faithful disciples "seek Him" all of their lives! So at every Kingdom Wedding comes the ultimate charge of marriage: To get each other and their future children to Heaven! And to God be the glory!
You may kiss your bride!"
Joey & Karen Gregory's first kiss!
The Gregorys are "a match made in Heaven!"
"A profound mystery... the two shall become
New Delhi Has Had A Record Number Of
one flesh!" (Ephesians 5:31-32)
Luca & Sophia Di Beo's first kiss!
The Di Beo's are on their way to Heaven
on earth and Heaven above!
Baptisms For A First Year Planting - 141!
Raja Rajan – Lead Evangelist of New Delhi: Greetings from the Capital of India! God has been looking with favor on the New Delhi Disciples! Ever since the 38 Spartans of the New Delhi Mission Team landed on April 28th last year, and had our first Sunday on April 29th, God has poured out His blessings on the efforts of the disciples. There had been numerous persecutions and difficulties, but through all of this, God encouraged us with 141 baptisms and 25 restorations for our first year!
So key for the New Delhi Church to break the Metro
Manila Church's first year baptism record of
135 was a very fruitful Women's
Day, entitled RADIANT!
The incredible leadership and preaching of Debs
Rajan (second from the left) were used by God
to move many hearts at the Women's Day!
Also, Evangeline, Mrs. Sunita and Salma
shared their testimonies!
Only after coming to Women's Day did Khushboo
We started with one teen disciple – Isheeta, Debs & my youngest child – and now have 39 baptized teens!
(second from the left) open up! On Easter
Sunday, she was baptized and is
planning to continue her
studies in medicine!
On June 30, 2019, we will be sending out the Kathmandu Mission Team led by Luke & Brandyn Speckman! After two months, Roger & Yassa Green will assume this mantle of leadership!
The 39 disciples of the New Delhi Teen Ministry have
been "dubbed" the Knights! (The original teen
Isheeta is seated second from the right!)
Salma - the Knights' Woman Leader - and Isheeta
studied and baptized Angela, the 141st baptism
of the New Delhi Church's first year!
The city closest to Mt. Everest - the highest
mountain in the world - is Kathmandu!
Kathmandu is just 500 miles (800 km) from
New Delhi - a one hour plane flight!
The New Delhi Church is now at 170 disciples! Please be praying for us so we can continue to forcefully advance the Kingdom of God as we begin our second year!
Nick Bordieri – MERCY World Sector Leader in Phnom Penh: Greetings from beautiful Cambodia! The Boys Bathroom Project at the CSW MERCY Orphanage is heading to the finish line and God has added to our number!
The "Boys Bathroom Project" broke
ground in early January...
They are closing in on the finish line!
Saravuth, our contractor, has his 12 year old nephew, David in the CSW MERCY Orphanage. David recently lost his dad and mom. Saravuth is very grateful to the CSW MERCY Orphanage for providing David with a loving and secure home. Consequently, Saravuth has committed to helping us with all future construction projects!
In all of Saravuth's construction projects,
he strives for excellence!
Dun, one of the older boys at the orphanage who is 17, studied the Bible for almost four months. On March 24th, he made Jesus Lord of his life!
Rasmey (left), Rithy (right) and Nick studied
That day, God blessed us with a record attendance of 41! So encouraging for the church was that the 14 that were visiting from the orphanage included Dun’s brother and sister! We had 30 at lunch to celebrate Dun's new life! From seeing the baptism, Kim Chai, one of the orphans who is 13, asked Denise to study the Bible with her!
with Dun almost daily!
After six months of studying the Bible, Morakod (13) was baptized on April 28th! She is the daughter of Rasmey & Srei Oun, the first couple to join Blady & Cielo Perez to form the Phnom Penh Remnant Group! A special thank you to Denise, our dear sister Naomi (who is now in Manila training with the Phnom Penh Mission Team), Marysa and Suvnai – all of whom studied the Bible with Morakod! During the sharing before the baptism, Rasmey expressed how grateful he is for God! Morakod apologized to her dad the night before for things she has done that hurt him. As Rasmey shared, “We both cried and then hugged. It was a special moment for us.” Marysa (13), who was baptized in November shared, “Today my best friend becomes my sister in Christ!”
Our new brother Dun's amazing "celebration lunch!"
The compassionate Global Directors of
MERCYworldwide and the Directors
of the CSW MERCY Orphanage -
Nick & Denise Bordieri!
We cannot wait to have Blady & Cielo and the entire Phnom Penh Mission Team come from Manila in June!
Sean Valenzuela – Lead Evangelist of Auckland: Greetings from the saints in Auckland! April has been a month of "FIRSTS" for the family down here in New Zealand! God has blessed us with our FIRST male baptism, Pascal – an Engineering student at the University of Auckland! He was met by Merari (now Singer) and myself near the end of March, and it only took Pascal three weeks to make the decision to be baptized!
Before Morakod’s (center) baptism, Marysa (left)
shared how Morakod had “transformed” from
being a “best friend” to becoming
her sister in Christ!
The Auckland Disciples were so jubilant
after seeing Pascal baptized!
Another FIRST that God has blessed the Auckland Church with was being able to host Chris & Merari Singers' Wedding on Saturday! It was a beautiful "Kingdom Wedding" organized in godly fashion as everyone pitched in to make it heavenly! Thank you to all the visiting disciples who came from Sydney and showed the Singers how much they are loved and valued! Thank you to the London Disciples who sent funds to purchase Chris gifts for his wedding and videos to encourage him!
Congratulations to Chris & Merari Singers!
The last FIRST in April was Joe Willis being able to preach his FIRST sermon in Auckland titled, NEVER GIVE UP! He encouraged us to "not become weary in doing good!" (Galatians 6:9) We are so very grateful to be a part of a worldwide family where we are constantly "[spurred] to love and good deeds!" (Hebrews 10:24)
Chris & Merari cheered on the "old guys" - Joe Willis
(center) and Ian Clague - as they tried to
find their "groove!"
Joe Willis – Lead Evangelist of Sydney: Greetings from your very international sister church in Australia! We presently have 24 nations represented in our congregation from just 64 disciples! There are not many days when at the beginning of church that I am laughing at what God is doing, but our International Day Service was such a day! To be frank, our attendances before that Sunday were low, but our attendance at Bible Talk had been high. So that is why we decided to plan an International Day Service! We organized everyone to bring their national food, got a prayer list going, and on Sunday, "oh baby," I looked around at the beginning of church because there as so much noise at the back… I had to smile, as the ushers were hurriedly dragging in more and more chairs from everywhere! The church was not filling up, but overflowing! There was standing room only!
The jammed-packed auditorium of the
International Day Service in Sydney!
Well, God more than answered our prayers, as we had a new record attendance of 177 – 112 visitors plus five children! Of special note: One of our young Christians had 17 personal visitors, all students from her university! She stood up; invited her whole class at university; and they all came!
Obviously, it would not have been complete without another baptism! Yi was met a year ago at the University of New South Wales by our dear Mongolian sister Naomi Radnaabazar (who is now in Manila)!
Tasty dishes from 24 different nations were prepared
by the Sydney Disciples for their magnificent
We just heard back from the Australian government on Friday, April 26th, that Scotty Iakopo as well as Berek Saleimoa cannot stay in Australia after their graduations since an extension was refused. Both need to return to Samoa by June 24th this year, just eight weeks away! Kip challenged Kerry & me to “keep in step with the Spirit” this year, and where the Spirit leads, we will gladly go! (Galatians 5:25) Therefore, we have concluded that the Spirit is calling Scotty, his new wife Jenna, and Berek to plant Samoa! (Acts 16:6-10)
Though our dear sister Naomi is in Manila, training
with the Phnom Penh Mission Team, she
continues to bear fruit in Sydney -
her spiritual home!
In Acts 16, Paul was guided by the Holy Spirit by
being blocked from preaching in Bithynia so
that he went onto Europe! Similarly, Scotty
& Jenna believe the Spirit is guiding
them to plant Samoa, which will
lead to "even greater
things" as well!
Samoa is a country in the South Pacific consisting of two main islands – Savai’i and Upolu – and four smaller islands. The capital city is Apia with a population of 200,000!
Samoa is 2,700 miles (4,300 km) from Sydney!
This Sunday morning, April 28th, Scotty & Jenna with Berek set out 12 chairs and prayed for them to be filled with other Apia Mission Team Members! Therefore, we are appealing for anyone who has a Samoan passport or can get one to help join them for at least a year to build God’s church there! Of note, this is an island that was never reached in the old movement and so you will be the first disciples on the island!
ATTENTION ALL SAMOAN PASSPORT
HOLDERS: Pull up a chair!
ATTENTION ALL DISCIPLES WITH SAMOAN PASSPORTS OR THE ABILITY TO SECURE ONE: Please contact Joe Willis (Joe.Willis@usd21.org) and your lead Evangelists ASAP to let us know of your opportunity to be on a mission team with one of the great young ministry couples in the Movement! And to God be all the glory! KM
Your ticket to save the Samoan people!
Carlos Mejia – Lead Evangelist of Mexico City: Greetings from the city with the largest population in the Western Hemisphere with over 21 million… lost souls! We are so grateful for our Campus Ministry! We now have a total of 42 campus students sold-out for the Lord, most of whom are studying at the two top schools of Central America – Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) and Instituto Politécnico Nacional (IPN)! This past week during "Spring Break," the Lord allowed us to have three more campus baptisms! Joey Underhill and Anna Hernandez have been "shining like stars" on campus as our leaders! (Philippians 2:15) We are praying to imitate the São Paulo Church in raising up many powerful young Evangelists and Women’s Ministry Leaders!
Mauricio - our newest brother in Mexico City -
is a chemistry major at UNAM!
Anna (center) saw so much potential for the
We are also thankful to God for returning to us, Jose & Daniela Otero from Monterrey, Mexico to lead one of our four regions!
Kingdom in Citlali, as she is a law
student at UNAM!
The Oteros were so excited to be back in Mexico
City to work side-by-side with their best
friends - Carlos & Lucy Mejia!
The 2019 Latin American Mission Conference (LAMC) on July 18th to July 21st is fast approaching! Prayerfully, many of you will come down and join us here in the city, as our theme comes from John 13:34-35, that "everyone will know you are my disciples by your love one for another." So, the official theme is: TODOS SABRAN (EVERYONE WILL KNOW)! You can now register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/latin-american-missions-conference-todos-sabran-2019-tickets-55079214413.
The moving theme of the 2019 LAMC is TODOS
SABRAN (EVERYONE WILL KNOW)!
Oh yes... One last piece of good news: Philippe Scheidecker now of Mexico City & Paula Harpole of Orlando were engaged in Paris on April 25th!
Congratulations to Philippe & Paula
on their engagement!
Andrew Smellie – Lead Evangelist of Lagos: In Nigeria – from Friday to Monday – is considered a four-day holiday to celebrate Easter! It was a busy weekend for all of us, as my brave wife endured a surgery for an abscess on her left hip on "Good Friday." While the concerns of doing so in a third-world country were very real, God blessed her faith through the painful procedure, as she invited the entire surgical team to church! I was so proud of Patrique's perseverance as the church was in awe to see her "up and out of bed" on "Resurrection Sunday!"
Patrique joyfully "resurrected" from surgery
to attend Easter Sunday Service!
On Saturday, our first engaged couple in the church, Kate Awara & Tolani Abiodun, celebrated the first step of their journey to marriage in Nigerian custom – the Traditional Ceremony! In Nigeria, there are actually three steps of marriage: 1) The Traditional Ceremony, which brings the families of both the bride and the groom together; 2) The Court Registry, which is done for their marriage to be official in the eyes of the government; and of course, 3) The "White Wedding," which is done before the church and in the eyes of God! At each section of the process, there is a reception!
In the Nigerian tradition, family members can see the couple as "married" after the Traditional Ceremony, but as disciples, Kate & Tolani knew better and educated their family on keeping their purity as they prepare to be united before the Lord and His church on Sunday, June 30th – the final culminating event of our 2019 AFRICAN MISSIONS CONFERENCE!
For disciples, the elaborate Traditional Nigerian
Marriage Ceremony is only the first step
to "really being married!"
The African GQ Couple - Tolani &
Kate "future" Abiodun!
This past Sunday service was also inspiring as the church celebrated the baptism of Elisha Uche! Elisha is a single professional who works in the IT Department of a local bank here in Lagos! He was overjoyed to begin his new life in Christ on Resurrection Sunday!
Seyi (left) is one of Lagos' newest ministry interns!
He was as fired up as his friend Elisha, a
recent campus graduate, who he
had the privilege to baptize!
Thank you for all your prayers and support as we prepare for Missions! The Lagos Church is raising funds to help with providing households for indigent disciples and supporting staff with our Third Annual Run4Missions on the Ikoyi-Lekki Bridge this Saturday! Please do not forget to register for our 2019 AFRICAN MISSIONS CONFERENCE (AMC), entitled, SHINING LIKE STARS! This momentous event will be held in Lagos from Thursday, June 27th to Sunday, June 30th! You can sign up at our Eventbrite Website, which will answer all your pertinent questions: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2019-african-missions-conference-shining-like-stars-tickets-58125311371.
It is not too late to secure a plane ticket and a
visa to participate in the 2019 AMC -
SHINING LIKE STARS!
Pray for this historic conference as the Holy Spirit will be sending out the Johannesburg Mission Team to South Africa!
Pray as well for Bolaji & Chinyere Akinfenwa, who will become the new Lagos Church Leaders upon Patrique's & my departure to plant the Johannesburg Church! Bolaji was baptized January 26, 1992 and Chinyere was baptized January 29, 1995 – both in the Lagos ICOC! Since they serve so effectively as our right hand couple in Lagos, the disciples have full confidence that God will continue His powerful work in Nigeria and in all West Africa through them!
The nickname "City of Gold" is at the forefront
of the Johannesburg ICC Logo!
The incredible Akinfenwa Family: Bolaji, Chinyere,
Abigail (16), Timothy (13), and Tobi (6)!
Metro Manila Breaks The 300 Barrier!
Ricky Challinor – Lead Evangelist of Metro Manila: Greetings from the Philippines! Praise God that your many prayers on our behalf have been heard, as Coleen & I received our missionary visas!
Mina Challinor said to her mom Coleen,"The
Philippines just bring out the
best in us girls!"
God has graciously given us 89 additions since the start of the year – 71 baptisms, 12 restorations and 6 place memberships! Equally encouraging is the few fall aways that we have had. This year we have fought to help the weak and encourage the timid, and in so doing, have had only 17 fall aways! To further this effort, last Sunday we appointed 10 couples as Shepherding Couples-in-training! God willing, some of which will be appointed Shepherding Couples at the PACIFIC RIM MISSIONS CONFERENCE (PRMC)! Amazingly, God has grown the Metro Manila Church to now 305 sold-out disciples!
Lastly, we encourage all to come to the PRMC on June 13-16, 2019 to see the completion of Phase One of evangelizing Southeast Asia with the planting of Davao, Philippines! Equally exciting will be the beginning of Phase Two for evangelizing Southeast Asia with the sending out of the Phnom Penh Mission Team! The Eventbrite link to register at $200 per person is: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ambassadors-of-christ-2019-pac-rim-conference-tickets-49247421363?ref=eios&aff=eios.
The Year of Boldness in Manila has been
one of historic growth!
The valiant Phnom Penh Mission Team is led by
Blady & Cielo Perez, who are fluent in Khmer -
the native language of Cambodia!
Lastly, Lord willing, Coleen & I will personally plant the seventh region of the Metro Manila Church with a fiery "evangelist in-the-making" Clieford Ablin and Rosas "the baptizer" Sobrino at University Belt! As well, we will begin to meet weekly by super regions! There is so much to be done in the next six weeks before the PRMC, please keep us in your prayers!
John Malnegro – Lead Evangelist of the Metro Cebu Church: Maayong Buntag! (Visayan for Good Morning!) The Metro Cebu Women's Day was indeed a very RADIANT day! In planning, my awesome wife Anna set out to imitate Coleen Challinor – her discipler – and the Metro Manila Sisters!
In March, God blessed Coleen with the record-breaking Metro Manila Women’s Day where 136 sisters had 601 in attendance! By imitating Coleen’s heart, the 40 sisters of Cebu (along with two visiting sisters from Manila) had very similar results with an incredible attendance of 164 women!
At the conclusion of the Leader's Huddle, Anna
Malnegro had all the sister leaders "bring it
in" to "fire them up" for Women's Day!
The Spirit used 42 disciples to bring 122 non-Chrisitan
visitors to the Cebu Women's Day!
Anna Malnegro directed this flawless event!
The afternoon started off with a powerful Welcome and an International Prayer in six languages!
Then a feast of "Filipino Merienda" (a light meal) and great fellowship was followed by three women vulnerably sharing their powerful testimonies: Liza Javier, Lou Cabañero and Macy Llauderes! After that was a heart-rending performance by Vynne Mharie!
The International Prayer included the three dominant
languages of Cebu: Visayan, Tagalog and English!
Vynne Mharie was blessed by God to have one
of the best singing voices in the Kingdom!
Then a powerful lesson by Coleen challenged and encouraged the women to have a radiance that only comes from God!
According to John Malnegro, Coleen's message
entitled, RADIANT was spectacular!
Lastly, they had a fun raffle with prizes and closed out with Grace Merzo getting baptized into the Lord!
Mrs. Cynthia Sanchez - a visitor at the Cebu
Women's Day - was so encouraged to win
one of the raffle prizes!
As of this Sunday, we praise God that the Cebu Church has 82 disciples and so in the first third of 2019 has grown exactly 50%! Mabuhay!
Praise God that Grace received
grace at her baptism!
Raul Moreno – Lead Evangelist of São Paulo: "We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14) In 2012, "Grace and Truth" – Venia et Veritas – was selected by Kip as the Latin motto for the International College of Christian Ministry (ICCM), to signify that we are striving to hold to Jesus' standard of excellence in teaching! In Brazil, we strive to uphold this same standard! Therefore, April 7th was an historic day as we celebrated our Second ICCM Commencement Ceremony awarding nine prestigious Bachelor Degrees in Ministry!
The brothers were honored to usher at
this truly incredible day!
The São Paulo ICCM Commencement crowd
was standing room only!
Our valedictorian was none other than Carol Placco Costa, who is the Women's Ministry Leader in the Rio de Janeiro Church! She along with her awesome husband, Caio, came to São Paulo for the graduation!
Carol Placco Costa as the Valedictorian led the
processional of ICCM BA Degree Recipients!
During the ICCM Commencement, Lynda Moreno -
Dean of Women for the ICCM-São Paulo -
shared from the Scriptures that Jesus
was a unique rabbi as he selected
both men and women disciples!
Tulio Amaral, the Lead Evangelist in Bogota, Colombia, also made the trip with his wonderful wife Vaítsa to receive his much anticipated and desired degree! He had sacrificed finishing college in order to support his family, so they were quite moved when he received his BA Degree!
Tulio and his family were so grateful that he
received his BA Degree from the ICCM,
that recognized Tulio's years of
studying and training!
To conclude the Commencement, Raul called the
graduates to move the tassel on their cap
from the right to the left signifying the
application of their new knowledge
would come form the heart!
The ICCM Commencement was a magnificent celebration of hard work and dedication! Thank you ICCM-LA for giving us the example to follow!
The 2019 Class of the ICCM-São Paulo and the
esteemed faculty of Raul, Lynda, and Renato
Tria (second from the right)!
Finally, we are excited to announce that the 2020 SOUTH AMERICAN MISSIONS CONFERENCE (SAMC) will be hosted in São Paulo on February 7-9, 2020 at the impressive Renaissance Hotel near the beautiful Avenida Paulista! The theme of the 2020 SAMC will be from John 4:35, OPEN YOUR EYES! Indeed, we need to open our spiritual eyes to see that the world can be evangelized in our generation by our faith in Jesus' power! Of note, Americans no longer need tourist visas to enter Brazil making it much easier to participate in this glorious event!
The spectacular skyline of São Paulo as viewed
from the Renaissance Hotel that will host
the 2020 SAMC - OPEN YOUR EYES!
Cesar Limon – Lead Evangelist of Portland: Grace and peace from Oregon! Debbie & I are so grateful and honored to be in the city where God birthed His new Movement! His Spirit moved to bless us with an amazing record attendance for our Easter Service, as well as 12 additions in the last 6 weeks with 8 baptisms, 3 restorations and 1 place membership! We also appointed today at our service Gidget Challinor and Paul Reddy to be Shepherds-in-training to help us shepherd these new brothers and sisters to stay in the Kingdom!
Gidget Challinor is so proud of her son
Ricky and his efforts for the Lord
in Southeast Asia!
It has been a very eventful month with the BLITZ Campus Campaign, the wedding of our beloved Torres, and the two beautiful Women's Days that we hosted! The first Women's Day was in Spanish entitled, MUJER VALIENTE where 14 sisters had 39 guests! The keynote speaker was a dynamic, radiant and very spiritual woman named Debbie Limon! She connected with a woman named Monica who came because her son's fiancée approached her the week before with the desire to find God. Since Monica at one time was a disciple, the only thing that came to mind for Monica was to go through “the studies” that were given to her and now do them with her son's fiancée. After doing so, she realized she needed to practice what she taught, and so she was restored this past week!
Monica brought to the Limons' home this
beautiful plant telling them that she was
ready to be rooted in "the Vine"
once again! (John 15:1)
We also had our English Women's Day entitled BRAVE, that was "bravely" held on Friday night to attract more campus women! God blessed the 30 sisters with 90 in attendance!
90 BRAVE women attended the Portland
English Women's Day!
April Baker was selected as the keynote speaker,
because of her bravery on the Middle
East Mission Field!
One more miracle to share! Debbie & I put up one of our rooms in our home for Airbnb to raise Special Missions, and Tony – a traveling nurse from Colorado – booked the room from the end of February to the check-out date being the day after Special Missions... Debbie & I knew this was of God! He moved in and despite growing up very religious, he saw the life of true disciples, and was baptized two weeks later! He has become a best friend and truly part of the Limon Familia!
Through the blood of Christ, Tony became part
of the Limon Familia!
Ron Harding – Lead Evangelist of Atlanta: Greetings from ThePEACH in Hot'lanta! The entire Atlanta Church sends their love and gratitude for sending the Special Missions money used to plant our amazing church! We have had 11 additions in 16 weeks, which included four amazing baptisms! The latest baptism was Bridjette – Keyanna Malone's sister – who came to the Inaugural Service on February 24th!
Bridgette (left) was so grateful for her sister
Keyanna, who came all the way from
Houston to take her to the Atlanta
Out of our gratitude and desire to see souls added like this in every city, we wanted to share the incredible fund raising idea of our Campus Interns – Ed Shaw and Josh Galindo! They are charging all makes of electric scooters all over the city! The more you charge, the more they give you, just like Uber and Lyft Drivers! Each brother – using ONLY two to three hours a day – is raising $100/day! The campus is on pace to make our goal ($2,400/disciple) for the year by the end of summer! While teens cannot sign up, the campus students can work with teens to help and then pay them for their services. I also believe this could be a terrific way for unpaid interns to support themselves without being tied down for hours with Starbucks, Subway, etc. The following are the websites to sign up for Bird: https://chargers.bird.co/join, Lime: https://web.limebike.com/juicer, and Skip: https://www.fountain.com/skip-scooters/apply/general-location-ranger. Keep us in your prayers!
By charging electric scooters, Ed (left) and Josh
continue to support themselves in the
"almost" full-time ministry!
Micky Ngungu of Kinshasa: The Kinshasa Church is in awe of God, as last Sunday, He gave us eight more baptisms – four men and four women: Tressy Dola, David Gondola, Isaac Ngalamulume, Jean Baptiste Lekili, Fabrice Nakasila, Annie Magangu, Niclette Moke and Fideline Mamboka!
Therefore, in the last seven weeks, the Kinshasa Church Family has been blessed with 22 baptisms! The Kinshasa ICC currently has 343 disciples… and counting!
PRAYER ALERT from Andrew Smellie: Our brother Micky Ngungu – the Overseeing Evangelist for the four Congolese Churches – is in Mbuji Mayi, a city with 70 disciples. He landed on April 25th, but came down with malaria, typhoid fever and a urinary track infection. He is in the hospital and in need of prayer!
The eight Easter Baptisms of the Kinshasa Church -
the second largest church in the Movement!
Pray for our dear brother Micky to have a speedy
and complete recovery from malaria,
typhoid fever and a urinary
Sharmayne Viscichini – Women's Ministry Leader of Boston: Greetings from the City of Champions! On the weekend of April 14th, the 26 Boston Sisters had a record attendance of 69 at Women’s Day! Every aspect of the event was heartfelt and tear-jerking!
The Boston Sisters imitated the LA Women's
Day Invite, except for using their
own RADIANT Women!
The keynote speech – RADIANTLY HIS – was given by Brandyn Speckman! There was not a dry eye in the room as Brandyn vulnerably shared her life’s story! I am personally very grateful for her for not just moving our hearts and inspiring us with God’s love, but also for helping me and guiding me to coordinate my first Women's Day!
Brandyn Speckman in New York City has set a
terrific example in leading and inspiring
women in a local congregation!
LuJack Martinez – Lead Evangelist of Washington DC: God is moving in miraculous ways in the Capital of the USA! As many of you know, the Fisher Family gave up EVERYTHING in Harrisonburg, Virginia – a beautiful home, a successful barbershop business, and the comfort and security of "Small Town USA" – to move to "The Swamp" of cutthroat politics and corruption here in Washington DC! It was not an easy decision; but it was the right decision, as they needed to be part of a vibrant family of disciples! Another one of the things they sacrificed for the Kingdom was the proximity to their famous choir, the Shenandoah Valley Children's Choir (SVCC), of which two of our teens – Josiah & David Fisher – are members! Well, Josiah decided to think "outside the box" and asked his choir director if their 93-member choir could come to visit our church in DC to hear him preach and to sing some worship songs for us… and they accepted!
The 93-member Shenandoah Valley Children's Choir!
It was a Sunday Service to remember as THREE HUNDRED AND THREE (303) – our BEST attendance since Cathi & I have been in DC – worshiped with us and heard Josiah Fisher and Matt McGruder, our Teen Leader, preach on Faith, Hope, Love And DISCIPLESHIP! The choir kids and their parents were ALL cut to the heart and several of them are now studying the Bible! Please pray for a house church to start in Harrisonburg and for a Campus Ministry to start at James Madison University!
Josiah literally was "preaching to the choir!"
As for our 2019 Women's Day, Cathi – my awesome, adorable wife – and the 63 other women of the DC CHURCH were blessed with an incredible attendance of ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY-FOUR (184) prominent and influential women from the DC Metropolitan Area! The visitors lives were forever changed by the fellowship of the disciples and the powerful preaching of our sister Sonja Chloupek from our Orlando ICC Family!
Best of friends for many years, Cathi and
Sonja worked as a team to lead the
outstanding DC Women's Day!
That same weekend, Chris Chloupek helped to “RELAUNCH” our AMS Ministry with an Open Mic AMS Friday Night Devo! Herb & Melika Johnson will serve as the new leaders of this promising and cutting-edge ministry!
Herb & Melika Johnson are the new AMS Leaders
for the Washington DC Church!
We also had an amazing wedding on March 10th: The holy matrimony of Olivier & Deanna Gyenguere, which was a joy and an inspiration to us all! AND we celebrated the engagement of Dale Bryant & Ruth Guteng, who are planning to be married in December 2019!
Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Gyenguere!
Lord willing, Dale & Ruth will be married
by the end of the year!
Finally, on a personal Kingdom note, God enabled me to baptize Javier Lazaro Garcia, a Baptist Minister from Havana, Cuba into the Kingdom of God! I first met Javier through my Book Club in DC! Grace Droblas ran into Javier out in front of the host hotel and brought him in to meet her husband Steve, me and several other disciples who were there reaching out! After an intense New Testament Conversions Bible Study, Javier realized that he needed to be baptized as a true disciple! He was baptized on our "Shenandoah Valley Sunday" as the disciples and several of the SVCC Members looked on! And to God be all the glory, honor and praise!
Michael Williamson – Lead Evangelist of London: We had an incredibly fiery Resurrection Sunday Service with tons of new international visitors! The West Region – led by Kolby & Rebecca Gray – baptized a great Egyptian single professional Henry; while Dara the sister of Denzel was restored; and excitingly Nayomie Jarvis – engaged to Samuel Ajayi – placed membership! I am so proud of Nayomie as she stayed strong through intense border control persecution!
Prayerfully, Javier Garcia will become
an Apollos in DC and Havana!
On Easter Sunday, Kolbe (left) baptized Henry,
an incredible single professional from Egypt!
It inspired the London Church to see the next level of leadership of the European World Sector, as four young prophets had the opportunity to preach! Luke Snow is a classically trained pianist and former atheist who is now a full-time intern with hopes of leading the mission team to Scotland (Bold Preaching)! Michael Green is also a former atheist and digital media specialist who has a heart for the South of England (Bold Prayer)! Chris Worth is a former Muslim, Biochem student and Captain of the Queen Mary University Boxing Club, who wants to lead a mission team to Manchester (Bold Evangelism)! And Tom Tanak (Bold Missionary) will serve as the right hand man for Tomiwa Safe-Adewumi on the Amsterdam Mission Team to be sent out at our October EUROPEAN MISSIONS CONFERENCE!
Praise God that on Thursday, April 25th, Anthony & Cassidy Olmos received their French Missionary Visas and will return to lead the Paris Church next week!
Michele Williamson boldly preached the Word
at the Stockholm Women's Day!
After several months of waiting for their visas in
Los Angeles, Anthony & Cassidy will return
to once again lead their beloved
Paris Church Family!
Mark Garrido – Lead Evangelist of Honolulu: A few weeks ago, Savannah who is the team captain and point guard of the University of Hawaii Basketball Team was met by our Shepherd Joe Santos at "Da Spot" Restaurant. Joe convinced her to come to Women's Day! Savannah came and was blown away and started studying the Bible! Savannah then brought out two of her teammates the following Sunday and they are studying the Bible! After Savannah completed the Discipleship Study, she asked one of the sisters, "Can I get baptized tomorrow?" The next day, we studied the Bible for over seven hours straight, and Savannah was baptized at our Sunday service! After her baptism she looked at Lauren and said, "You're next!" God willing her teammate Lauren will be baptized this upcoming Sunday! Please pray for Lauren!
Pray for Savannah to make an impact on
all of her University of Hawaii
So fired up that we are officially 75 disciples in Oahu and 14% growth for the year! Pray with us for "100 for the Lord" in Honolulu!
Jason Dimitry – Lead Evangelist of San Francisco: Hello Family around the world! This week was truly extraordinary! Yesterday, we held our Annual NorCal Classic Basketball Tournament! I will boast in the Lord as the Silicon Valley Region, led by Sarah & myself, took home the tournament trophy!
Coach Dimitry took the coveted NorCal
Classic Basketball Trophy... again!
After finishing out our three Regional Women’s Days here in San Francisco, we tallied that over 300 came out with our 120 sisters in the church! Therefore, today at our Easter Worship Service, we honored the Women Region Leaders – Jackie Chavez, Ashley Sarkodie, Julie Clark, and of course, my remarkable wife Sarah with flowers for a job well done!
Also, we examined the resurrection from an apologetics point of view! To close out the service, we saw four more souls added to the Kingdom through baptism!
After preaching in LA for Women's Day, Lianne
Kernan traveled north to speak
in San Francisco!
The Sisters are always a little more
RADIANT at the photo-booth!
Since Pascal is a student at Mission College, Lord
willing, in the near future a Bible Talk
will be started there!
An incredible account: Alicia divorced her husband
because he became a disciple; yet she
never forgot his stand for the truth,
and so was baptized!
Last but definitely not least, many in the church gathered at Marin Headlands after church, a beautiful vista overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge! Here Christian Enos asked Devon Donahue to be his wife! We are so proud of our dear son and daughter in the faith! God is good and His Kingdom is the best place on Earth!
Congratulations to Jason's & Sarah's precious son
and daughter in the faith - Christian & Devon -
on their engagement!
Luke Speckman – Lead Evangelist of New York City: Greetings from the "Big Apple!" In the month of April, we kicked off our Annual New York City Church (NYCICC) Basketball League at Columbia University and had our Congregational Women's Day with the theme of RADIANT! The NYCICC Basketball League has been a blast with one more week to go! The Championship Game will be played next week between Queens and New Jersey!
In all SoldOut Movement Athletic Events, there is a
Prayer Huddle before the beginning of the games!
Malik Speckman made another
Women’s Day was perhaps the best I have ever seen – both in content and in the venue! Brandyn and the women did a sensational job putting the program together which was held at the beautiful Marriott Marquis Times Square!
We decided to go for a higher-end, more selective event so as to have a greater focus on high character conversions! Each person, both visitors and disciples, paid $25 to be at the event. Our Prayer Goal was "one-for-one" visitors, so that each disciple has one friend to follow up with and to baptize! So with 115 NYC Sisters, our prayer goal was for 230, and we ended up with 235 women! So we were right on target!
As in New York City and all around the world,
sisters have imitated the City of Angels
Church's theme of RADIANT and the
design of the invites for their
All 235 women paid a $25 registration fee for the
New York City Women's Day, thus saving
the church $5,875!
Regine Francois, a Columbia University senior,
Jersia was baptized at the end of Women's Day, and to date, we have had four additional incredible women baptized as a direct result of Women's Day!
was quite poised in her presentation as
one of the speakers!
Jersia rejoiced in her salvation!
The NYC Ushers compared notes after Brandyn's
speech had convicted them all!
Matt & Helen Sullivan visited over the Easter Weekend and spoke to the church! Matt preached and Helen shared for communion! Also, we had three baptisms!
Matt & Helen Sullivan - the World Sector Leaders
overseeing New York City and most of the East
Coast of the USA - have built tremendous
relationships with all of their
Shi was baptized through the efforts of the very
fruitful New Jersey Region!
Praise God that we now have 223 sold-out disciples in New York City!
Cory Blackwell – Lead Evangelist of Chicago: What an incredible week! Truly, God has been gracious and merciful to the Chicago Church! With four baptisms, a wedding and a visit from Caleb & Lizabeth Cohen of LA, who will become our Campus Leaders in June! They will spearhead all the campus work throughout the Midwest.
Caleb & Lizbeth will oversee all of the
Midwest USA Campus Ministries,
when they move to Chicago
On Thursday about 15 disciples accompanied Jee & me to greet the Cohens at the O'Hare Airport! We immediately went the famous pizza spot Giordano's! Let's just say Caleb ate his fill!
Cory now calls Caleb and Markus, "Two of my
On Friday, Markus Cameron, Heather Schmidt, Pat & Sparkle Boea and the Cohens visited the campuses of Northwestern, DePaul and UIC! (Time did not permit to visit the most prestigious university in the Chicagoland Area – the University of Chicago, which is ranked number three in America!) Later that evening Caleb preached a fiery message for what I believe is the beginning of a very dynamic Chicago Campus Ministry! Thank you so very much Tim & Lianne and the City of Angels Church for sacrificing one of your all-time best couples!
American sons in the faith!"
With an enrollment of 21,000 students,
Northwestern University is ranked
number 10 in America, and has a
tuition of over $54,000 per year!
DePaul University has an enrollment of 15,000
students and a tuition of $40,000 per year!
The wedding of Magdaleno & Lucy Suarez was incredible, particularly given that it was our Latin Ministry Leader Lalo Palacios' first wedding!
Congratulations to Magdelano & Lucy Suarez!
Tim Kernan – Lead Evangelist of LA: "Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge Him. As surely as the sun rises, He will appear; He will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth." (Hosea 6:3) Greetings from sunny and beautiful Los Angeles, California!
The warm weather has begun here in LA, and with so much rain this winter, the flowers are blooming all over our "golden mountains!" And, so is our Spring Into Action Campaign!
So much good news from the City of Angels Church!
The charismatic City of Angels Church
God certainly answered our prayers for a "Bold Winter Harvest" here in Los Angeles! At the advice of John Causey, a brother who walks with a spring in his step, we called every disciple to pray and fast for fruitfulness at the City of Angels Church Winter Workshop. As of Sunday, the Lord has powerfully responded, for in the first 118 days of 2019, God has blessed us with 124 additions – an amazing 104 mind-blowing baptisms and 20 powerful and heartfelt restorations – more than daily additions!
Leaders - Tim & Lianne Kernan!
Our actual growth (after sending out the Columbus Mission Team in September and the Atlanta Mission Team in December) is as follows as we were at 881 disciples on January 1, 2019: In January, God grew our membership to 897 (+16); in February, He increased our number to 904 (+7); in March, the Spirit used our Women's Day to grow to 927 (+23); and in April, we were blessed to grow to 934 (+8)! This gives us a growth of 54 disciples in the first third of the year! Much of this growth comes down to:
Isn't it nice when a tree begins to
"bear" much fruit?
1) Having every disciple pray and fast for fruitfulness, thus focusing on the power of God. This has been my Co-Evangelist John Causey's mantra this year.
2) Emphasizing priorities and daily studies. I especially want to thank Kip for his steadfast accountability on this with me and the Staff. His rebukes and encouragement were life-giving! It's been huge!
3) Calling for disciples to be "fast family," as City of Angels Church has sent out so many disciples during my three years "at the helm." So many were "orphaned" as a cost of sending out mission teams. Again, thank you Kip for your watchful eye on each sheep in "my" pasture! Indeed, our "fall away rate" has steadily declined this year. Our Congregational Shepherds – the Untalans and Kirchners – have been pivotal in establishing a culture of retention and insisting on sound structure.
We are now in reverent awe coming before our God the Lord of the Harvest for abundantly fruitful spring and summer seasons! Also, we are attacking our Prayer Missions Goal with gusto, and as of today, we are at 51%! We are asking God that we smash our goal on May 19th! Please continue to pray for us as we pray for you!
The REACH Short Film Festival is sponsored by
the City of Angels Church AMS Region to
raise money for Spring Missions! Come
join us this Saturday, May 4th
from 5PM to 8PM!
MCKEANS' MISSIONARY JOURNEYS
A couple years ago, I had decided that my days of presiding over weddings – as they are very time-intensive – should be left to the younger ministers with the exception if any of my three granddaughters would ask me to do theirs, I would. However, my dear wife Elena gently shared with me that weddings are so bonding and family building, that if asked by future "Kingdom leaders" that I should strongly consider participating in these weddings as these young ministry couples are our spiritual children and grandchildren! So, on December 9, 2018, Elena & I were so overjoyed to receive a phone call from Joey Gregory & Karen Maciel – our dear daughter in the faith – as Joey asked Karen that morning to be his wife at the Columbus ICC Church Service! (They co-lead "The" Ohio State Campus Ministry!) Over the phone, they asked me to do their wedding! I gladly said yes!
Praise God that date for the "LA Super Service" has been set to be Sunday, August 25th! We will meet at the Anaheim Hilton, the site of several past Global Leadership Conferences! Not only will LA be in attendance, but other congregations such as San Francisco, Las Vegas, San Diego, Phoenix and Sacramento will be there for the 2019 LA ICCM Commencement! As well, the ICCM Chancellor's Gala will be held on Friday night! Please keep all of this in your prayers! KM
Getting engaged to the man of her dreams
brought tears of joy to Karen!
Joey & Karen serve as the Campus Leaders
of "The" Ohio State Ministry!
However, since Joey & Karen had so many more relationships in Los Angeles than Columbus, they decided to have their wedding in the church that gave them both spiritual birth!
Karen and the McKeans baptized Karen's mom
Araceli on December 30, 2018!
This created several challenges as the "future Gregorys" had very limited funds with which to work. However, so many disciples stepped up to help Joey & Karen in various ways, as the two had endeared themselves to so many through the years! Of particular note were Tony & Therese Untalan! Not only did they host on Thursday evening, March 28th, the Bridal Shower in their living room and the Groom Honoring Party in their backyard, as well as the Rehearsal Dinner on Saturday night, but Tony bought the handsome suit that Joey wore at the wedding!
Therese Untalan went to great lengths to decorate
her living-room for Karen's Bridal Shower!
At the Rehearsal Dinner, Tony Untalan grilled his
famous pork ribs! Because of his tireless
service to the saints, Tony will be going
full-time as a Movement Shepherd
on July 1st!
On Sunday morning, March 31st, I must admit that I was getting more nervous than usual for a wedding, as I had the honor to marry this amazing couple and escort Karen down the aisle as her "Dad in the Faith!" After all, Elena & I had bonded to Karen in a very special way as we worked together for three years side-by-side on the Good News Emails! During this time, we watched Karen grow so much spiritually, as she received her ICCM BA Degree at the 2017 Manila Global Leadership Conference and became so skilled in writing and editing that she became the Assistant Redactor for ICCM-Global! As well, we saw Karen grow in her "courage" as she "fell in love" with the dashing and fruitful intern Joey Gregory, who became the Valedictorian of the 2018 BA Degree Class!
When he first began ICCM, Joey's secret
prayer was to be the 2018 Class
Valedictorian... God honored
that bold request!
Courage? Since Joey was on the Columbus Mission Team, the cost for Karen to pursue a relationship with him was leaving her beloved church family and her physical family – both of whom were in LA. Unknown to some, Karen’s awesome mom Araceli had been both "mom and dad" for so many years as Karen never met her father.
All of Karen's sisters - Vanessa (left), Sarah (second
from right) and Lizbeth (right) - participated
in the wedding!
Most amazing about the date that Joey & Karen chose to be married was that very day Joey's paternal grandparents – Karl & Judy Newell – celebrated their 35th Wedding Anniversary and his maternal grandparents – Bobby & Sandy Gonzales – celebrated their 52nd Anniversary!
Amazingly, both of Joey's grandparents were
married on March 31st - the same
as Joey & Karen!
Karen's three spiritual moms - Therese, Elena
and Coleen - ready her for "The Big Event!"
The wedding opened with Lauren Zepeda singing "At Last!" Then came the two sets of Joey’s grandparents, followed by Elena escorting in Karen’s maternal grandmother Martha, whom Karen was named after!
At the Rehearsal Dinner the night before, Karen's
grandmother celebrated her 73rd Birthday!
Even while Lauren was singing At Last, Tajai
Reed - an expert makeup artist - was putting
"the final touches" on the Bride!
Then came the moms each with a candle representing the life that they gave to Joey & Karen, which they placed on each side of the Unity Candle.
Jodi (left) and Araceli - the two moms - walked in
So special were all the relationships in the wedding: Tim Kernan gave the Welcome; Coltin Rohn was the Best Man; and Coleen Challinor flew all the way from Manila to be Karen’s Matron of Honor!
together each with a lit candle representing
the lives they gave to their children!
Tim and Coltin walked in on The Mission
Carlos Robielos and his fellow Groomsmen "danced
in" on Uptown Funk!
Since most at the wedding knew that Joey grew
up in Alabama, the Groom "brought the house
down" when he came in on the song
Sweet Home Alabama!
Engaged the night before to JC Sanchez,
Frida was a very "fired up"
Maid of Honor!
Joey's adorable sister Abbi!
The Ringbeares - Karen's nephews Raymond
Martinez (right) and Anthony Castro -
"informed" Joey that his princess
I escorted Karen to the song, Can’t Help Falling In Love by Kina Grannis. Though Karen could not remember a time that she saw Joey cry, when we reached Joey, he was so moved that tears were rolling down his face!
Kip was very honored to escort down the aisle
his precious daughter in the faith!
After I "gave away" Karen to her future husband, Coltin Rohn, the best man prayed! Then, we sang accapella, Our God He Is Alive! In all of the weddings at which I preside, I always have an accapella song as the Dedication of a wedding, so the non-Christian families "see and hear" the hearts of the true church in their singing!
Coltin Rohn - the Best Man - delivered
the opening prayer!
I try to make every wedding just a little different! My two charges to Joey & Karen were: SEALED FOR LIFE and WITH A LOVE THAT ALWAYS BURNS BRIGHT! So many commented afterward about the godly purity of Joey's & Karen's dating relationship, as at the end of the wedding was their very first kiss! Also, that 75% of marriages in California end in divorce, and yet in God's SoldOut Movement Family of Churches around the world, there has never been a divorce between two faithful disciples!
As Coleen - the Matron of Honor - and Coltin
looked on, Kip began the wedding!
During the ceremony, I shared that in the scores of weddings that I have been privileged to perform, only for my three physical children had I incorporated 1 Corinthians 13:1-8. Yet because Karen is so special as a true daughter, I used it for Joey & her! (It was also Elena's & my privilege to buy Karen's wedding dress.)
1 Corinthians 13:1-8 is truly a great Scripture for weddings, as in this eight verse passage, the word for "love" in Greek – used seven times and referenced another eight times – is not "eros" (romantic/sexual love), but "agape" (a total self-sacrificing love)! If all couples would practice "agape" and not rely solely on "eros," then all marriages would last a lifetime! Well, the theme selected by Joey & Karen for the wedding was Prince Charming & Cinderella! This Kingdom Fairytale came true as the King of King’s son – "Prince" Joey kissed the "East LA girl" who became a "Princess" of the Kingdom!
Congratulations to Prince
Charming & Cinderella!
What a night of celebration as Joey & Karen began their "happily ever after" lives!
The jubilant Maciel / Gregory Wedding Party!
The charming Flower Girls -
Oh yes, they were given a honeymoon to Hawaii by several disciples coming together to honor this amazing couple! And to God be the glory!
Hailee and Trina Rohn!
During the Wedding Sermonette, it was shared
that Joey would like to have 2 children,
but Karen has always dreamed
of 11! Pray for them!
The Happy Couple!
The Father / Daughter Dance!
The Mother / Son Dance!
Unique to this unforgettable wedding -
the Mother / Daughter Dance!
At the end of their dream honeymoon in Hawaii,
Joey & Karen presided over the Contribution,
while sharing about the Columbus
Joey & Karen will become the LA South
Region Leaders on May 26th, and the
IGNITE Teen Leaders for the
Movement on July 14th!
The next Sunday, April 7th, Elena & I visited the West Region where we were reunited with Richie & Elizabeth McDonnell – the new West Region Leaders, Michael & Sharon Kirchner – the Admin World Sector Leaders, and Jonathan (Jay) Causey & Alicia Winthein, who lead the UCLA and Teen Ministry! Richie "hit it out of the park" in his sermon entitled, THE CALLING OF MOSES! His three powerful points were: 1) We May Not Understand But Trust God’s Plan, 2) Saved Slaves Saving Slaves, and 3) There Is No One Else! Not only was the sermon eloquently delivered and asking great things of us, but it was a tremendous Bible Study!
Heroic Missionaries of Manila and the dynamic
West Region Leaders - Richie &
I was asked to close out this amazing service with news that would encourage the region in their Missions Contribution on May 19th. From being in the fellowship, I discovered that few knew all of the SoldOut Movement’s Church Plantings for 2019! So, I shared the 11 plantings for 2019:
- Auckland, New Zealand (February)
- Atlanta Georgia (February)
- Lima, Peru (May)
- Kathmandu, Nepal (July)
- Phnom Penh, Cambodia (August)
- Davao, Philippines (August)
- Johannesburg, South Africa (September)
- Indianapolis, Indiana (September)
- New Haven, Connecticut (September)
- Amsterdam, Netherlands (October)
- Calcutta, India (November)
Eleven church plantings in a calendar year is a new record for the SoldOut Movement! If one counts church plantings and remnant group churches, Lima will be the 100th congregation in the Movement! The Lima Mission Team had their first baptism today!
Praise God that on May 19th at the Lima
Inaugural Service, there will be exactly
100 congregations in God's
Though not counted as a "planting," a supplemental mission team was sent to Bogotá, Colombia as the remnant left in opposition to the preaching of the Distinguishing Five Core Convictions of the SoldOut Movement by the heroic young ministry couple, Tulio & Vaítsa Amaral. Only nine courageous disciples remained in the Bogotá ICC. Therefore, Raul Moreno, the World Sector Leader for Central and South America, sent the supplemental mission team to Bogotá after the February SOUTH AMERICAN MISSIONS CONFERENCE! Praise God, they reported that they had their first three baptisms yesterday from the Universidad Nacional, which is the top university in Colombia, bringing the church to 14 sold-out disciples!
The gallant Bogotá Supplemental Mission Team:
Gabriel, Amanda, Vaítsa & Tulio - all of São
Paulo, as well as Juan of Miami and
Victor of Rio de Janeiro!
Please welcome Daniel, Sofia and Cristian
to God's worldwide family!
However, the ultimate reason for going to the West Region was to see Jack Fenton be baptized into Christ! The Fenton Family has meant so much to so many over the years including Elena & me, so we wanted to support Jim & Donna as they baptized their youngest child into Christ! What joy was felt throughout the entire West Region!
A fellow "Kingdom Kid," Jay Causey (green shirt),
studied with and shared about Jack Fenton!
Jim Fenton encouraged his son to
always persevere in his faith!
Jim & Donna joyfully baptized their youngest!
Jack cannot believe how awesome
it is to be a disciple!
Donna was so proud of Jack!
Two days later, on Tuesday, April 9th, Elena & I boarded the first of three flights to go to Kiev (Ukraine) for the wedding festivities of Luca Di Beo of São Paulo and Sophia Sirotkina of Moscow, but born and in her early years raised in Kiev! We were warmly greeted at the Kiev Airport by Oleg & Aliona Sirotkin and the "future" Luca & Sophia Di Beo at 2:00AM on Thursday, April 11th – my 47th Spiritual Birthday!
The Sirotkins and the "future" Di Beos welcomed
the McKeans to Kiev at 2AM on April 11th -
Kip's 47th Spiritual Birthday!
Very interestingly, Sophia knew Luca was "the one" when they started dating! Sophia at 14 years old first watched what became her favorite movie – La Vita E Bella! In the movie, the main character meets his future wife and greets her with the words, "Buongiorno Principessa!" These were the words that Luca said to Sophia when he asked her to start dating! As for Luca, his heart went to Sophia after being introduced to her by Oleg with the words, "We have many beautiful and spiritual sisters in Moscow, like Sophia! She wants to go full-time! Please come visit!"
When Luca asked Sophia to be his girlfriend at
the 2018 Eurasian Missions Conference in
Moscow, he greeted her with the
words from her favorite movie,
Anyways, at Thursday noontime, the Sitotkins, the "future" Di Beos and Elena & I, met again to essentially plan out the entire Wedding Ceremony! Since so many in the Wedding Party were not coming in till Friday, we had previously agreed that there would not be a Groom Honoring Party or Bridal Shower. That said, in Russian and Ukrainian Weddings there is so much sharing at the Wedding Reception that the pre-wedding festivities were not missed! As well, after an early Rehearsal Dinner on Friday at 5:30PM where there was also some sharing, we then had the actual Rehearsal which went quite well!
At the Rehersal Dinner, Luca presented all of
his Groomsmen with swords!
This wedding was quite easy to make unique with a mix of Brazilian Wedding Customs from the Di Beo Family and Russian / Ukrainian Customs from the Sirotkin Family! It truly was a "Kingdom Wedding" as disciples came from all around the worldwide Kingdom: Brazil, Russia, Sweden, USA, England and of course Ukraine!
Sophia has traveled the world with her family to
preach the Gospel and has made so friends
of fellow disciples in so many nations!
The wedding took place in the heart of Old Kiev in the beautiful Khreschatyk Hotel! So amazing was the ballroom where there was a giant video monitor behind the stage! So, Oleg planned a very moving and thrilling three minute Opening Video – complete with fireworks – to introduce Luca & Sophia! (Sofia is considering changing the spelling of her name as "Sofia" is the Italian spelling!)
The fantastic Opening Video!
Luca & Sophia in Ukrainian!
Following was the entry of Sophia's two grandmothers – Larissa and Anna – on the song, Close To You! Then Luca's father Sandro's favorite Brazilian song Che Fantastica played as Raul – the Best Man – and I walked in followed by the Groomsmen! As the song continued, in a special tribute to his mom Marissa – who is a disciple in São Paulo, Luca was escorted in by his mom! Then Dancing Queen was played for the Bridesmaids and Ringbearer! Afterward came the much anticipated moment, during which was the playing of a romantic live instrumental: The Flower Girl – Aliona, whom Sophia converted in high school – walked in tossing rose petals high in the air! Then we saw the beautiful bride and her proud father coming down the aisle! I asked Oleg in English, "Who gives this gorgeous woman to be married to this amazing man?" He responded in Russian, "Her family and I!"
Oleg gave away his cherished daughter to a
man he trusted would get her to Heaven!
Then Oleg brought Luca & Sophia together, and Oleg stood by my side to translate the Wedding Sermonette into Russian! For the Song of Dedication, the congregation sang, O Lord Our Lord – the first stanza in English, the next in Russian, and the last in Ukrainian! Both Christians and non-Christians stood in awe of God, as we sang this accapella hymn, knowing this could only happen in the Kingdom!
The Song of Dedication was O Lord Our Lord -
the first stanza in English, the next in
Russian, and the last in Ukrainian!
The theme for my charge to Luca & Sophia was "Destiny" from Ephesians 1:4-8, where all are "predestined in love by God!" My three challenges for this incredible couple to remember were: DESTINED IN LOVE, DESTINED FOR EACH OTHER, and DESTINED FOR GREATNESS! I closed with my usual charge to pray every night together as the secret to greatness in the Kingdom!
The Wedding Sermonette was sometimes humorous,
sometimes sobering, but always encouraging!
Luca & Sophia exchanged deeply
moving Personal Vows!
After the Pronouncement that they were husband and wife and their first kiss, Luca placed a Ukrainian wreath on Sophia's head representing his pledge to see her someday receive the "crown of eternal life."
At the Presentation, when for the first time
Luca & Sophia were introduced as Mr. &
Mrs. Di Beo, Sophia was ultra excited!
Following the ceremony, pictures were taken of the Wedding Party!
The gorgeous Bridesmaids and Aliona - the beautiful
Flower Girl (in red) that Sophia converted
in high school!
The ever-so-handsome Groomsmen!
The multi-national Sirotkina / Di Beo Wedding Party!
Congratulations to Luca & Sophia!
The Reception – held in a elegant Italian-style hotel – began with the traditional "Korovai" (Wedding Bread Cake) given to the Newlyweds by the four parents! The bride and groom each partook of the Korovai and dipped a bite in salt, which symbolized being unified even during the bitter moments of life. This was followed by a sip of wine, which symbolized savoring the sweet moments of their future married life! As well, Oleg shared with me, "Bread symbolizes life. Therefore, parents bless their children with bread and give a toast of wine, so that they will have a fruitful life!"
The "Korovai" was served to the Newlyweds
by their four parents!
The Bride & the Groom each took a piece of
the bread and dipped it together in salt
symbolizing their unity even through
the bitter moments of life!
Moments later, wine was sipped by Luca & Sophia,
so they would remember to celebrate and
savor the sweet moments of married life!
Then off to the Reception...
The "Korovai" was displayed prominently
at the Head Table!
Following was lots of food, toasts, sharing, laughter… and dancing!
The First Dance!
Lidia - Sophia's sister and Maid of Honor - translated
Oleg's mom (yellow) and Aliona's mom (blue)
as they gave advice to Luca & Sophia!
Michael & Michelle Williamson are looking
forward to having Luca & Sophia come to
London after Luca graduates
from USP in July!
Raul & Lynda are going to miss the Di Beos
in their world sector!
Oleg & Aliona shared their advice to Luca & Sophia!
A great banquet was graciously given by Oleg & Aliona to all invited to the wedding!
It was quite a Wedding Feast!
The Cutting of the Cake was fun
as it is in every culture!
The McKeans with their beloved grandchildren
in the faith - Luca & Sophia!
Early Sunday morning, Oleg and I had breakfast with a remnant disciple. While we were talking, Oleg and his friend just stared at this huge, very "chiseled" man, who sat down fairly close to us! (I later learned that Wikipedia lists him as 6' 7" – 201 cm!) Then, in disbelief that I did not know him, Oleg shared that this was Vitali Kiltschko, the three-time World Champion Ukrainian Heavyweight Boxer, and now the mayor of Kiev! As we were leaving, I went over to Mr. Kiltschko and introduced myself in English saying that I had been coming to Kiev off and on since 1992. When I shared I was from LA, Mr. Kiltschko warmed up and said, "If I had a second life, I would live in LA!" After about 15 minutes of dialogue sharing about the Kiev Church and Oleg, I invited him to church. He kindly said that he would consider it!
While in Kiev, Kip shared with Vitali
Kiltschko - the Mayor of Kiev!
Mr. Kiltschko is the second longest reigning WBC
Heavyweight Champion of all time!
Sunday with the Kiev Church was so encouraging! The church has gone through many trials and only numbers 65. Yet, God used persecution to block Aliona Sirotkina from Moscow in February, so the wedding and all the participants came to Kiev instead of Moscow... God’s ingenious plan to strengthen Kiev! The church was greatly strengthen by 15 disciples from Moscow and the participation in their worship service of four World Sector Leader Couples: the Morenos – Contribution, the Sirotkins – Welcome, Michael Williamson – Sermon and Michele lighting up the fellowship, and Elena & I closed the service!
The Kiev Sunday Service was electric!
A packed house sang powerfully in Ukrainian,
Russian and English!
So many great visitors including Bogdan Mekeda – a former Kiev City Boxing Champion, photographer and former disciple – and his beautiful wife Aliona, a former Miss Ukraine!
The Mekedas have a beautiful young
son named Daniel!
Sunday night, Elena & I spent time over dinner with Michael & Michele Williamson discussing the European Churches. In the midst of this discussion, we glanced over at the TV and there was a special report that the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was in flames! We watched the report for several minutes and saw the parallels between Notre Dame being in flames and Europe being in flames spiritually!
Praise God with Europe spiritually in flames,
the Olmoses are being sent back to
Paris by the Holy Spirit!
That Monday afternoon, we had an incredible lunch with the Mekedas and Sirotkins, where Bogdan made the decision to be restored and would like to baptize his wife! (Bogdan was baptized in 1998 in Kiev as a 15 year old young man.) Oleg & Aliona have now done all "the studies" with them, and Lord willing, they will be restored and baptized Sunday at the EURASIAN MISSIONS CONFERENCE on May 5th!
During lunch, Bogdan expressed his desire to be
restored and then to baptize Aliona at
the EAMC in Moscow!
Following lunch, the Sirotkins and us planned the EURASIAN MISSIONS CONFERENCE which will be held this week on May 3-5, 2019 in Moscow!
The inspirational theme of the 2019 EURASIAN
MISSIONS CONFERENCE in Moscow -
where it is against the law to share
your faith - is BRAVE HEART!
It was announced last Friday, April 26th at the Moscow Church that Oleg – to be reunited with Aliona – would be moving to Kiev to forcefully advance the Eurasian World Sector! Dima & Tanya Serafonov will assume the leadership of Moscow!
With the Sirotkins in Kiev, Dima & Tanya
Serafonov will become the Moscow
The Di Beo's dream – since Luca is fluent in Italian and carries an Italian passport – is to train in London with Michael & Michele Williamson and plant the Rome ICC in 2022! Of course, the Di Beos honeymooned in Italy!
On the very first day of their honeymoon in Rome,
Luca & Sophia prayed for two hours at the
Colosseum to evangelize all Italy from
the Rome ICC, which is their
dream to plant!
On Tuesday, April 16th, we flew to New York City to finalize plans with Luke & Brandyn Speckman on the planting of Kathmandu (Nepal) in July! The Speckmans have done an outstanding job in rebuilding the foundation of the New York City Church, as they have raised up so many full-time ministry people! During our time, we also discussed in detail the plans for the NOVEMBER SOUTH ASIA MISSIONS CONFERENCE (SAMC) in New Delhi! Since the almost 70 disciples of the Crown of Thorns Council oversees missions for the SoldOut Movement, my hope is to get the entire council to the SAMC to better understand the challenges of third world missions! Prayerfully, on the Sunday of the SAMC, the Holy Spirit will send out the Calcutta (India) Mission Team!
Elena visited her favorite store in Times
Square - the M&M's Store!
At the planning meeting with the Speckmans, Elena
shared her "bounty" of M&M's with Brandyn!
At Strawberry Fields in Central Park, Elena
"imagined" an evangelized world!
We stayed till Friday in New York City to spend time with our son Sean, his wonderful wife Alex, and our 21 year old granddaughter Alicia! That night, the five of us celebrated Sean's new career with gelato – a family favorite!
Kip & Elena celebrated their son Sean's new job
by eating gelato with his lovely wife -
Alex and their beloved 21 year old
grandaughter - Alicia!
On Saturday, we flew home to LA in time for Easter Sunday with our beloved AMS Region Family! And to God be all the glory!
Boston: We are excited to announce the birth on April 17th of Abigail Gomes – the beautiful daughter of our treasured brother and sister, Jackie & Aradhna!
Congratulations to the Gomeses on the birth
of their daughter Abigail!
Dallas/Ft. Worth: Congratulations to Damont & BJ Webb on the birth of their daughter Tetiwe! She was born two months early and had to stay over a week in the NICU. At birth, she weighed 4lbs. 12oz. and praise God now both Tetiwe and mom are doing great!
Jayden - Tetiwe's big brother - was so
excited that his little sister came
home "safe and sound!"
Honolulu: Congratulations to Dennis & Corinna Sloan on the birth of their firstborn – Noah Christopher-kai!
Congratulations to Dennis & Corinna on the birth
of Noah Christopher-kai Sloan!
Los Angeles – AMS Region: Chantelle Anderson – former WNBA player and part-time intern of the City of Angels Church AMS Region – recently wrote, "Never did I expect that a little over two years after becoming a full-time motivational speaker, that I would be speaking at Google Headquarters in Silicon Valley for the second time! God's plans are always bigger than ours!"
Chantelle Anderson - former WNBA Player and AMS
Region part-time intern - spoke at Google
Headquarters for a second time!
Inland Empire Region: At our breath-taking Easter Wedding, Jared McGee gave a magnificent sermonette impacting not only Sergio & Selene Narine, but their lovely families as well! Congratulations Sergio & Selene!
Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Sergio &
Kirk Hamula – Lead Evangelist of the East Region of LA: "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:34-35) It has been so encouraging to see this Scripture come to life as our love can change the world! God allows us to endure hardships so that we can fulfill this very Scripture! As most of you are aware, Dennis Wong lost his wife Sharon to cancer less than a year ago, but not before she became a disciple! I have been so proud of the East Region Family as we have wrapped our arms around Dennis and his three daughters: Megan, Madelyn and Mabel during this troubling time.
Dennis, Sharon, Megan, Madelyn and
Mabel Wong in Bangkok in 2003!
On Friday, March 22nd, the doctors told Dennis that Megan has B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The news was devastating and yet despite the circumstances, Dennis called me and we then pray in tears together over the phone. As soon as I could, I went straight to the Children's Hospital of Orange County where Dennis and Megan were. I was unfortunately unable to go up and see them, and so in turn, I got on my knees and prayed for the next 45 minutes in the lobby for Megan, Dennis and their whole family. Thankfully, I was able to spend time with Dennis that night after my lobby prayer.
Dennis enjoyed a light moment with Megan!
Since then, Dennis has been the best Dad I have ever seen: Being by Megan's side, finding strength in God, and staying in communication with the disciples. On April 12th, we had an incredible opportunity to be able to help them move as Dennis moved closer to the hospital just in case of emergencies. The entire East Region Campus Ministry helped move them into their new house and sanitize every "nook and cranny" so that it would be safe for Megan.
The East Region graciously helped the Wongs
move into their new home!
As well, many in the East Region have come forward to donate their platelets in order to help Megan have a healthy supply as she undergoes chemotherapy. I personally was able to (Praise God!) on Tuesday, April 16th! Please keep praying for Megan and the Wong Family!
Kirk was overjoyed to donate platelets to Megan!
Miami: The Lord blessed Jacob & Hannah Wessels at their wedding with the breath-taking backdrop of the Miami skyline on the Atlantic Ocean!
Congratulations to Jacob & Hannah
Wessels of Miami!
New Delhi: Eroz & Bindu, who Lord willing will one day be leading a mission team to their home-city of Chandigarh, were blessed with a baby boy – Joel!
Congratulations to Eroz & Bindu on the birth
of their first child - Joel!
Orlando: Congratulations to Travis & Vanessa Lewis, who were gloriously married on April 20, 2019!
Travis & Vanessa will inspire each other
to "dance blissfully through life!"
Portland: Miguel & Katherine Torres had a very beautiful Kingdom Wedding! She wrote on her Facebook, "Fairytales do exist, but only when God is the author!"
As Katherine shared, "Fairytales do exist, but only
when God is the author!"
Ragusa (City on the Italian Island of Sicily): Passalacqua Ragusa – the Italian Women's Basketball Team of our new sister Jessica Kuster – won the March Tournament called the Italian Cup! Passalacqua Ragusa soundly defeated Sesto San Giovanni 77-61! By winning it, the Sicilian Team Ragusa proved they were the best team in all Italy… until the playoffs start!
Passalacqua Ragusa won the Italian Basketball Cup!
(Our sister Jessica is seated on the left
in the front row!)
Congratulations dearest Jessica! We will pray
for you during the Italian Basketball
San Diego: On April 7, 2019, we were blessed to witness the union of Mark & Chantelle George (formerly known as Chantelle Alcover)! What was amazing was having disciples visit from San Francisco, Los Angeles, Hawaii and Las Vegas for this momentous occasion! Even more encouraging, was the baptism the day before on Women's Day at which one of Mark's friends, Margie Jones, finally became his sister in Christ! We are excited to have Mark & Chantelle place membership here in San Diego!
Congratulations to Mark & Chantelle! (Mark is the
father of Princeton George - the Las
Syracuse: Congratulations to Rafael & Melissa Jerez on the birth of their second son – Kris Leandro! He was born at 8:20AM on Thursday, April 25th! Mother and child are doing awesome… so is dad!
"Children are a heritage form the Lord, offspring
a reward from Him!" (Psalm 127:3)
Congratulations Jerezes on the
birth of Kris Leandro!
On Saturday April 13th our dear sister, Kathy Hoxie, finished her race and went on to glory! Several months ago, she had been diagnosed with Stage Four Lung Cancer and given a year to live. She began having lunch with one of our mature sisters and joining her for Bible Talk. Kathy was touched by the genuine love of Christ she felt through our sisters. After diligently studying the Bible, she was baptized on December 15th! Rafael Jerez fondly remembers how Kathy started her race "running," as she did not even wait for the step stool or assistance to get into the baptistry; Kathy jumped right in the water eager to begin her new life!
Our dear sister Kathy "finished the race"
just as she started it - sold-out!
Weapons of War
Written just days after Israel's ignominious defeat on Mount Gilboa, 2 Samuel 1:19-27 was David's heartfelt "Lament Of The Bow!" In this extraordinary eulogy, David lifted up both Saul and Jonathan as "weapons of war that have perished!" For me, this is all the more moving because Saul in jealousy had sought David’s life for years! Yet, David chose to remember that in death both Saul and Jonathan sacrificed their lives for Israel – God's people! Clearly inferred is that these men were God's "weapons of war!" Indeed, that is what leaders are: "Tools" for our God to battle Satan for God's conquests – the Promised Land in the Old Testament, and for us in the New Testament era, the conquest for "every creature under Heaven" to hear the Gospel in THIS generation! (Colossians 1:23)
God's weapons of war against Satan are His leaders!
In my opinion, perhaps the three most effective ministries in raising up leaders are: New Delhi/Chennai, India; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Los Angeles, California. New Delhi (and earlier Chennai) were planted by Raja & Debs Rajan. Through the power of prayer and following the example of Jesus, the Rajans have multiplied God's "weapons of war" in India by baptizing and raising up leaders the majority of which came through the Singles Ministry in their earlier "Chennai Days!" These include (now most are married):
John & Salma Jayakaran (Baptized from Singles – New Delhi Region Leaders)
Roger & Yassa Green (Singles – "future" Kathmandu Church Leaders)
Prathap & Maggie Kumar (Singles – Chennai Evangelist & WML)
Nishanth Arockiyaraj (Singles – Chennai Region Leader)
Nalini Elangovan (Singles – Chennai Region Leader)
Johnson & Vandana Gona (Singles – New Delhi Shepherding Couple)
Jeffery & Reena Norris (Singles – New Delhi Region Leaders)
Thomas & Shirly Vijayan (Singles/Campus – Chennai Shepherding Couple)
However, very fascinatingly, the newest paid interns in India were converted in the Campus and Teen Ministries:
Ani Debbarma (Campus working on her PhD – New Delhi Intern)
Debzy Kent (Campus – New Delhi Intern)
Jude Niranjan (Campus – New Delhi Intern)
Rhea Kristine (Teens – New Delhi Intern)
Shefali Rajan (Teens – New Delhi Intern)
Raja & Debs Rajan - great Heroes in the Faith!
In São Paulo, Raul & Lynda Moreno have done a splendid job baptizing and raising up Evangelists, Women's Ministry Leaders and Interns, especially from the University of São Paulo (USP)! Almost to a person, their leaders were baptized in their Campus Ministry (now many have married):
Vini & Bia Rodriquez (Baptized from Campus – São Paulo West Region Evangelist & WML)
Danilo & Carol Bataglin (Campus – Lima Evangelist & WML)
Caio & Carol Costa (Campus – Rio Evangelist & WML)
Tulio & Vaitsa Amaral (Campus – Bogotá Evangelist & WML)
Luca & Sophia Di Beo (Campus/Teens – São Paulo English Region Leaders)
Gabriel & Amanda Espeçamilha (Campus – Bogotá Interns)
Lucas Cardoso (Campus – São Paulo East Region Campus Intern)
Leticia Cassimiro (Campus – São Paulo East Region Campus Intern)
Luis Dias (Campus – São Paulo South Region Leader)
Malu Malaquias (Campus – São Paulo South Region Leader)
Gabriel Freitas (Campus – São Paulo Intern)
Camila Honorio (Singles – São Paulo Intern)
Lucas Tria (Teens – São Paulo Intern)
Good to remember that the top two couples – Raul & Lynda and Renato & Maria Jose Tria – were baptized off the campus in the ICOC Days!
Raul & Lynda - God's Weapons of War for
Central and South America!
Though many ministries have contributed to the City of Angels International Christian Church (CAICC), this congregation has baptized, restored, trained, appointed or reappointed the majority of the key leaders in the Movement. Of special note is one of the 12 Regions of the CAICC – the South Region! Indeed, the South Region was Elena's & my "home region" for many years. Therefore, the following disciples were influenced directly by us or by Tim & Lianne Kernan, as in time the South became their "home base" after us.
Remember all of these leaders were baptized, restored, trained, appointed or reappointed FROM ONLY ONE of LA's 12 Regions:
Tim & Lianne Kernan (Baptized from Campus – World Sector Leaders of the Pacific Rim)
Ricky & Coleen Challinor (Teens – Manila Evangelist & WML)
Mike & Chenelle Patterson (Teens/Campus – New York City Evangelist & WML)
Ashley Tambaur (Campus – Stockholm WML)
Coltin & Mandee Rohn (Campus – Columbus Evangelist & WML)
Jason & Sarah Dimitry (Singles/Campus – San Francisco Evangelist & WML)
Anthony & Cassidy Olmos (Teens/Singles – Paris Evangelist & WML)
Oleg & Aliona Sirotkin (Singles – World Sector Leaders of Eurasia)
Masha Bizimova (Singles – Moscow WML)
Sasha Davitadze (Singles – Eurasian World Sector Admin)
Kolbe & Rebecca Gray (Singles/Campus – London Regional Evangelist & WML)
Jason & Daniela Woody (Singles/Campus – Houston Evangelist & WML)
Stacy & Lynette Ybarra (Singles – LA House Church Leaders)
Heidi Bradley (Campus – LA Admin)
Caleb & Lizbeth Cohen (Teens – Chicago Campus Ministry Evangelist & WML)
…and on May 26th, Joey & Karen Gregory (Campus – appointed on July 14th Evangelist & WML)!
This does not include one of the preeminent Shepherding Couples in the Movement, Lance & Connie Underhill (Marrieds), who supported, loved and encouraged each of these awesome disciples listed above.
Three World Sector Leader Couples have
led in the South Region!
My take-aways: 1) Raja & Debs continue to invest in the Singles Ministry, but now have "learned to be even more invested" in the Campus Ministry, as it is becoming their primary source of future leaders. 2) "Kingdom Kids" are a terrific source of future leaders, as just from these three lists are: Coleen Challinor, Shefali Rajan, Sophia Di Beo, Lucas Tria, Mike Patterson and Lizbeth Cohen. 3) Campus Ministry in the ICOC and in the SoldOut Movement was and is not the only source of leadership, but it is the richest fountain of leadership!
The acronym for "Weapons of War" is W.O.W! Have
you lost "the wow factor" in your leadership?
Therefore, EVERY CHURCH needs to invest heavily in building great Campus Ministries, if we are to multiple leaders to be God’s "weapons of war" to win the spiritual battle to evangelize all nations in this generation! And to God be all the glory!
We are family… bold and unashamed,